How can database archiving be simplified?

Application data continues to grow exponentially. But application data growth can have significant negative business consequences if it is not managed, including unacceptable application performance, increased cost and an inability to effectively manage risk.  Organisations that derive value from data associated with the applications employed in the company are challenged by the management of the data.

Gerald Naidoo, Logikal Consulting CEO

Often, they don’t understand how to employ retention and deletion. They don’t see the management of growing volumes as a critical IT function, and instead rely on an approach to data management based on a “storage is cheap” viewpoint.

“This situation has led to numerous issues. These range from poor application performance to high costs associated with managing applications that should be retired but can’t be, simply because no one knows what to do with the data,” says Gerald Naidoo, Logikal Consulting CEO.

“Despite the constant projections for increasing data growth in every facet of business, organisations can do more than resign themselves to more storage, more application instances and more IT personnel – database archiving is a good start to solving this business challenge.”

For organisations that elect to go this route, the improvements in application performance and reduction in storage capacity that can be achieved can be significant, as the common business problems of exponential data growth and the concurrent storage growth will be reduced.

“Application performance and backup times will also improve dramatically,” adds Naidoo.

“Database archiving should be considered as part of a broader strategy. Businesses are increasingly focusing on information governance as an area for improvement, including the management of information for compliance and risk mitigation purposes. Companies will continue to need access to older data (including legacy system data) for financial reporting, audits and conformance to regulatory requirements, and the only way to get data under control for these purposes is to implement intelligent application and data classification, retention, and management, which are offered as core components of archiving,” he explains.

According to Gartner, companies can obtain all of these advantages by looking to database archiving vendors that offer packaged and custom application support, rather than attempting to develop in-house solutions. Recent research by the analyst house found that the products provided by these vendors deliver great results through cost-effective ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions.

Solix Technologies, represented locally by Logikal Consulting, provides products of this nature, including the world’s first application retirement appliance. In situations where data from a legacy or redundant application must be maintained, usually for compliance purposes, but the application itself is no longer being used; or where the application may have outlived its original purpose, or may have been replaced by a more modern application, application retirement is needed. However, Naidoo points out that companies have been reluctant to retire older applications because there is the common perception that, without the original application, data will not be available.

“Today’s archiving products can address the need to keep data without the need for the original infrastructure. The Solix ExAPPS appliance is a cost-effective solution for organisations looking for simple and repeatable application retirement, and is a simple plug-and-play solution that supports the ability to extract data (or any subset of data) and store it in flat files that can be managed and accessed long term.”

With most businesses having numerous applications spread across many platforms, the value of decommissioning outdated ones quickly becomes evident. However, application retirements go beyond just the hardware and software costs, says Naidoo.

“Maintaining and managing the infrastructures needed to support legacy applications takes time and resources. The same can be said of databases in most companies. Using a product created for the purpose of solving these problems makes business sense, and provides a tried and tested solution.”

Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting